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By Craig Kirchner

PROMPT—Privilege ...

In the third grade, public school privilege

is knowing you are one of the teacher’s favorites,

of course, it cuts both ways.

In the row house community, money was to go to

Mr. Mike’s with, buy lunch meat, a pickle onion,

and occasionally a pack of baseball cards.

No one seemed, most entitled. Free, some more than

others, depending on parental guidance, temperament,

or lack of, which was an entitlement of sorts.

The real privilege was location, the alley out back,

the compressed world of kids, bikes, and balls.

The park out front was a new wonderment every day.

It provided the opportunity to forego the concrete and the asphalt.

The woods and the run that ran through it were my franchise,

my entitlement, my escape.

Puberty saw the garage, remodeled, turned into a hangout,

with the typical search for opportunity, you know,

to be acknowledged as the best chess player in the neighborhood,

and any benefits, one-on-one encounters provided.

When I look back on it now,

no one could have known this world but me.

I was special to it and it to me,

it speaks to me now like a friend, it was a privilege.


Craig Kirchner thinks of poetry as hobo art. He loves storytelling and the aesthetics of the paper and pen. He has had two poems nominated for the Pushcart, and has a book of poetry, Roomful of Navels. After a writing hiatus he was recently published in Decadent Review, New World Writing, Wild Violet, Ink in Thirds, Last Leaves, Literary Heist, Ariel Chart, Lit Shark, Cape Magazine, Flora Fiction, Young Ravens, Chiron Review, Journal of Expressive Writing, and several dozen other journals. Craig writes from Jacksonville, FL.


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